Given his very public disdain for bands like Guns N’ Roses and Motley Crue, it’d be easy to assume that Kurt Cobain was not a metal fan.
Interestingly enough, though, that was not the case. And the reason we know that is from none other than Metallica guitar maestro himself, Kirk Hammett. Kirk actually got to know Kurt a bit because Cobain was a big Metallica fan.
As Nirvana was starting to explode in the early 90’s, Hammett and the Metallica boys actually tried to get Nirvana to tour with them. As Kirk recalls, it was Cobain’s moral hang ups with Guns N’ Roses that prevented the tour from taking shape:
“I had to make the phone call to Kurt [Cobain] to talk to him about the possibility of joining our tour and he just went on and on about how he just didn’t like what Guns N’ Roses stood for and I said to him: ‘Just go out there and represent Nirvana – just play the show and then that’s it’.
I pleaded with him, but he just wasn’t having it. So there you have it. It would have been great if Nirvana was part of that tour – but you know [the actual opening act] Faith No More were great as well.”
Despite his unwillingness to take the tour, Cobain forged a friendship with Hammett simply because he was a big Metallica fan. So much so that he came out to a Black Album tour date and got up front in the snakepit. Per Kirk:
“When we played in Seattle in 1992, Kurt came to the show. He was in the snakepit with a bunch of diehard fans. I remember the entire time Kurt would be waving his arms at me trying to get my attention. When I went over to see what he had to say, all he said was ‘Are you guys going to play ‘Whiplash’ tonight?.’ And we played the song and he was just loving it.
He said that one of his favorite albums was Ride the Lightning and that his favorite Metallica song was ‘Whiplash.’ And right after we put out The Black Album, Nevermind came out and all of a sudden grunge was everywhere.”
Pretty damn cool. Who knows, if Kurt had overcome his demons and was still with us, maybe we could’ve gotten some really interesting heavy music collabs out of the man.